Photography: Mohd Nasir
In India, washing a car has always been the job of either the chauffer
or the local man who takes just a few hundred rupees every month for a mundane attempt
at the job. There are two kinds of Indians, one that is very easily pleased and
another who isn’t. The job that the local men and drivers do is satisfactory to
the majority of the population who are easily pleased. For the rest of us who care
a lot about our cars, there is only one solution. We take it to our local fuel
pump where we get it washed with a high pressure hose and maybe even opt for a decent
basic polish inside and out and that’s about it. But that is usually very time
consuming and costs the earth for no reason.
But if you want a good long lasting rub down or buffing, detailing and
cleaning, then you have help at hand and that too at reasonable prices. There is
a new kid on the block called Exppress Car Wash, a fully automated car cleaning
service that operates through 15 outlets in the entire National Capital Region
and a total of 40 across the country. They have some fully automated and some
semi automated car cleaning facilities around the city. They are also slowly
expanding their reach across India. Thus, when they invited us to bring our
car, I took Rudyard (I call my Ford Figo hatch by that name!) down to one of
their fully automated cleaning outlets in Hauz Khas, (at the Indian Oil petrol
pump right opposite Siri Fort) to check out their cleaning abilities for
Karan Sethi, Director of Manmachine Works, the company that operates
Exppress Car Wash briefed us about the new service. “We have just launched a
new concept called Exppress Car Wash. We have tried to make the customers
experience comfort and convenience where he or she can come and get their car
washed and leave within 20 minutes,” he said.
We opted for their basic cleaning, which was a simple exterior job. The
process involved the use of a special high pressure hose with which the dirt on
top was washed off. Then they cleaned all the dirt on the sides, the front,
back and the wheel arches with this “Special hose” and cleaned out all of the
weeks’ worth of muck. They even got to the radiator. Then the car was placed
near the giant blue and yellow brushes which first had a mechanical high
pressure sprayer that cleaned the underbody of the car in no more than 3
minutes. Then the automatic machine sprayed some cleaning agent all over the
car and rapidly started spinning the massive brushes and closed in on the car
to start the cleaning process. After going from the front to the back and then
back to front and another quick cycle, the spinning stopped. A beam that ran
across the top lowered down and sprayed another environment friendly agent on
the car that was sort of like a polish/wax and then blew it dry. Once the
machine stopped, the process was over and the car was squeaky clean.
Karan Sethi revealed a very interesting fact. “Unauthorised centres and
local car washers use around 200 – 300 litres per car. With Exppress Car Wash
we make sure we don’t use more than 60 – 80 litres per car which is around 70pc
reduction and now we have also introduced steam systems which only use 20-25
litres of water per car,” he said.
Owning a car wash and operating one is a massive task in India because
of the laws. Car cleaning chemicals need to be environment friendly therefore
the chemicals used in Exppress Car Wash are bio-degradable; all are ISO recognised
and environment friendly. They are all imported from Europe and made with
Karan Sethi mentioned that washing a car is important because “In the
US, people keep their cars to up to 40 years. In our country 5 -7 years is
maximum because in our country, we have loose dust and that gets in everywhere
from your Air Con air compressors to the radiator and wheel arches. So if
you get your car cleaned and body polished, the car will have a longer life and
even a better fuel economy.”
After the entire process was over, the car paint looked much brighter
than it has ever before after the cleaning. As I drove off after waiting for
just 15 minutes for the whole process from start to finish, I even noticed that
the engine felt smoother and responsive, thanks to the cleaning of the
radiator. The washing costs a mere Rs 450 in Delhi and takes no more than 20
Exppress Car Wash classifies cars into 3 categories depending on the
size of vehicles. The categories are Hatchback/Sedan, Luxury, and SUV/MPV. They
even clean motorcycles (mainly superbikes), but only if it isn’t carbureted. In
terms of packages, they have 3 stages of cleaning services.
Log on to our YouTube Channel “Motown India” for the full video named
“Exppress Car Wash” feature for more details.
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